Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Winterlude: This Dude Thinks You're Grand!



Got up this morning, sleep walking with hangovers in my head. The fragmented bits and pieces in my dreams sudoku me in rows, frames, columns and 3x3’s, cryptic clues and all. The kids are up bright and early this Wednesday morning. What’s the fuss I wonder? I look out the window, and a jingle smacks my fluffy:

 

“It’s raining, it’s snowing, the old man is snoring, he went to bed, bumped his head, couldn’t get up in the morning”

 

The kids are indeed delirious, prancing about and dancing on the earth that is gently being showered by snowflakes! I am thinking; how do I maneuver the snow laden roads and get to work with my trusted Toyota ministered the ‘Green and Mean Hornet’?

 

As I rev up the old engine I can hear the kids fading out in the distance. The soft snowflakes are snowing down hard and fast, the roads look wet and slippery. I’m in first gear as I take the hornet down the slope, memories of skid row on high passes flashing by. Experience is one bloody good teacher! I can hear the monkey in me saying. The hornet’s in full throttle, the snowflakes dash the windshield, one of my vipers is almost dead. Fortuitously it’s the one on the passenger aisle; it looks like a wounded samurai battling to the death. The one on my side is in good shape, there’s still a lot of blood left in this one as it combats to keep me shielded and in-sight. I come across the first big curve, I feel the hornet slide a wee bit, and it’s back on course again.

 

I’m ready for the next big curve, and there it was, a Maruti car that had given up the battle and surrendered in the safety of a ‘khud’. The guy was standing out on the snow. Totally baffled and bewildered! Staring at the car like it was the car’s fault. Staring at the road and at the snow like it was their fault. I tell him a couple of laborers warming up a big fire round the corner could lift up the car and put it back on the warpath. He says ‘if you can give me a lift to town, I’ll let the car be damned!”

 

We chitchat and talk about the pros and cons of snow driving, Indian cars, Japanese cars, reckless drivers, women drivers  and the whole gamut of motor vehicle lives and cultures (if there is such a thing). There is no conclusion as such, we just yak on. On the highway we see a Maruti van much like a dung beetle on its back, the wheels still spinning, and it’s back on the road again. The main road is wet and clear. We drive on and see yet another van. This one has had it pretty bad. It looked like someone crushed it like an empty beer can. It’s being loaded in a truck. Some workshop will have to straighten out that mess, I tell myself in the head. And ponder on the virtues of my Japanese made hornet. Mean and green. I am quietly proud of the wheels. My companion has the look and feel of a man who’s had it better than the van men. He’s almost chirpy. The snow’s now settling down thick and fast. We get to town and he tells me this as good a spot as any to jump off and head to work. Don’t the RGoB declare holidays on snow blessed days? Goes the query in my head. I reach my work station and discover confusing vibes. When a tested routine gets interrupted, there’s confusion, says the monkey on my back.

 

Its official, the RGoB has shut business. Go enjoy the snow seems to be the commanding theme. Everyone is, but, here I am, stuck in a 'gho' with nowhere to go.

There are children playing on the roofs, rolling snow balls and hurling them at designated targets. I go back inside and think, ‘what now”?

The breaking news of the day is the death of Heath Ledger. A young and successful actor found dead in his apartment. There are experts trying to solve still more sudoku. The bloke’s gone, what a pity, I think and shut the matter. ‘Brokeback Mountain’ flashes by and the monkey tells me that was a brave role. I ignore the monkey and look forward to a good lunch.

 

The valley is now a blanket of snow. The trees take on imitations of Japanese cherry blossoms, chrysanthemums and there’s something akin to a Zen garden. Weird, the monkey tells me, queer I shoot back.

 

I drive back home and find the roads in better shape. With the RGoB snow decree in mind, I exit my formal wears and enter the casual domains. It’s such a breath of fresh air!

 

The drive back to the valley is a humdrum affair, no dung beetles lying on their backs legs wriggling in the air or smashed away.

The monkey on my back starts to hum;

Winterlude, where the snowflakes, they cover the sand.
Come out tonight, everything will be tight,
Winterlude, this dude thinks you're grand.

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